A Leap of Faith: A Letter on Faith Gilroy, Ph.D.

A letter from Roger D. Phillips, M.A.'81, Ph.D., on Faith Gilroy, Ph.D.

By Magazine Staff

Like lots of other young graduates armed with a B.A. in Psychology, I imagined a career for myself helping others in clinical psychology. I met Prof. Faith Gilroy, Ph.D., when I enrolled in her advanced social psychology course.

I stopped by her tiny office one afternoon. She asked me what I was thinking about beyond Loyola. I told her about my wish to do Ph.D. work in clinical psychology and then work with children. Then came her innocent but provocative comment, something like, “Huh. You seem so comfortable with theory and concepts in the field. I wonder how you’d like a good developmental psychology program.”

Her comment completely transformed how I thought about myself and my future. To be truthful, it turned me upside down for a bit, but then a pathway emerged that made such good sense and has been a very satisfying path. Prof. Gilroy became my thesis advisor, which eventually led to a joint paper published in a peer-reviewed professional journal. She then wrote a reference for my Ph.D. applications. I went on for my Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Delaware, and then years with one foot in academia and the other in applied research focused on young children.

All of that from a single conversation. I was—and remain—profoundly grateful to Prof. Gilroy.

Roger D. Phillips, M.A. ’81, Ph.D.
Developmental Psychologist and Consultant
Alburtis, Pa.

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